Saturday, November 24, 2012

Keeping Up


I am not gonna lie.

The transition from two to three kids was pretty intense.  I'd say the first month was the hardest in terms of just getting through each day.  Some days weren't too bad, there were even a couple of really great days, but more than a few were pretty terrible.  One in particular ended up with me in the pantry, crying and not wanting the kids to see, but they found me there anyway.  That was my low point.

There wasn't anything in particular that happened where I could say, "Be sure to prepare for this and you'll be fine."  I honestly don't think that you can prepare for the transition of adding another child to your family.  I believe it is a matter of the individual personality of the baby and your older children and that it just takes time to develop a new rhythm. 

We definitely had some things in Drew's first weeks of life that made things more difficult.  His readmission to the hospital was a challenge.  Having all three kids come down with The Plague was also incredibly awful.  This was no ordinary cold, either.  All three of them were super, duper SICK.  Again, though, not something that you can prepare or plan for.  We just had to go with it.

There were a few days when I was really worried and didn't know how I could ever handle all three at the same time.  In the end, I knew that I didn't have a choice and there was nothing to do but to pull up my big girl panties and move foward.  I had figured it out when Emma was born; I knew I could figure it out with Drew added to the mix.  So, that is exactly what I have been doing.

At six weeks out, we are still in the Newborn Trenches.  Drew still sleeps pretty poorly.  We have had a couple of five hour stretches here and there, but for the most part, he sleeps one three hour stretch in a night and then is up every hour or two after that.  He still wants to be held for every single nap.  We are finally just having some sucess with him taking a nap in his swing, but it is hit or miss. The biggest difference is that I am trying to not stress out over it and hope that time will help his sleep patterns develop (as they did with Will).   The one thing that I can say with some confidence is that we seem to have dodged a bullet when it comes to colic.  Drew is soothed fairly easily.  All he wants is his mama and a snuggle (earning him the nickname Velcro Baby), possibly a little nursing thrown in for good measure, and he is a happy camper.

All three kiddos are still fighting some sort of respiratory yuck.  Both of the older ones have had antibiotics and are still sick so my guess is that it is viral and will just take time. . . which seems to be the theme lately.  I will say that both of them are so incredibly sweet to their baby brother.  They just love him and often fight about whose turn it is to hold "Drew Boo" or "Gubba Gubba Drew" (not sure where Emma developed that nickname for him, but it is so cute when she says it). 

Speaking of which, Emma has gotten over her aversion to me nursing him and isn't phased by it any more, but she still wants my attention most of the time.  She still is doing a lot more crying and whining that she was before, but it is starting to settle down just a bit.  A lot of her personality these days is driven by the fact that she is two and I am pretty sure she would have gone through a lot of this even if Drew hadn't joined our family

Will has actually been the easiest in terms of the transition.  He has his moments of challenge, but I am finding four to be a pretty agreeable age as far as it goes.  He is old enough to be pretty helpful around the house.  He can do simple things like buckle and unbuckle his own seatbelt, get himself a snack, let the dog out, and get dressed.  These all are pretty small things, but they add up to minutes of the day that make life just a bit easier.  And he tells me all of the time how much he loves Baby Drew and is so glad that he is in our family.

So, I haven't really painted a very rosy picture of life with three, and yet. . . things are a lot easier and better lately.  Nothing much has really changed besides my attitude. 

I took Drew in to meet one of the doctors that I call on and was chatting with his nurse who has six (grown) children.  I asked her how she did it and when does it get easier and she asked me what was hard.  I told her that it was keeping everyone happy.

She arched an eyebrow at me and said, "Well, that's your problem right there.  It isn't your job to keep everyone happy.  Your job as a mom is to keep them safe, fed, and loved.  No one will be happy all of the time and it's best they learn that now."

I gotta be honest.  That kind of blew my mind.  But once I started thinking about it from that perspective, I found my attitude changing.


Here we are, six weeks out.  We are more than surviving; there are more good times than bad and I haven't cried in the pantry (or at all) lately.  And even though it isn't my responsibility to keep everyone happy, I would say most of the time, everybody is pretty happy.


It Is What It Is said...

That nugget from the nurse is the single best and most accurate piece of advice I've heard from another mother in a long, long time. It's not something I ever felt was my responsibility but I can imagine how totally relieving it would be to hear and believe it.

Sunny said...

That is great advice!! I need to remember that too. My twins are allllllllllllways whining and crabbing, and it often makes me feel like a failure. Like my house is not a happy place for them. It's tough.

Did you find a good carrier yet? Please let me know if I can loan you something! And/or join this group and go to a meeting:

It's a lifesaver. DS4 wants to be held all the time too, and thank goodness I can pop him in a wrap!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Will and Emma are able to make it a little easier on you now. And I definitely agree with Sunny. Since Drew is a snuggle monster, you need a wrap. Tatoe hates them because they hold him closer to me, but I bet it'd be right up Drew's alley. :)

Beth said...

hope you're doing well today, Katie! thinking of you & sending hugs!